Thursday, June 11, 2009

When Did You Start Gardening?

I garden all the time...if not actually caring for my garden then thinking about it, planning for future projects and pondering past successes and mistakes.
But Carol at May Dreams Gardens asked the question "When did you start gardening?" and it prompted me to try to remember.
I've always gardened, even as a child, and have had my own garden since I was in college.
Some of my best childhood memories are of helping my parents in our yard, planting and eating peas, cucumbers, and radishes. I grew zinnias and would feel like I was given a big honor when I was allowed to prune the honeysuckle arbor. My maternal grandfather and my paternal grandmother both had large vegetable gardens. They preserved food and my grandfather even made wine from his own grapes. These things all taught me that there was value in gardening. But I learned most of the nuts and bolts (seeds and bulbs?) of gardening from years of trial and error, years of reading every type of garden writing I could find, and the Sunset Garden Book. Somewhere along the way I realized I needed to work in the garden in order to keep my sanity…for me the mental health benefits are right up there with the edible and physical benefits. I don’t remember ever not wanting to dig in the earth or care for at least a few houseplants when I lived in apartments with no patio. I feel very fortunate that I have access to the activity I love right outside my door!

7 comments:

Carol said...

Ahhhh, what a cute little gardener you were. I agree, gardening is necessary for mental health!

Thanks for answering the question, "When did you start gardening?"

Carol, May Dreams Gardens

Oceanpages said...
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Mr. McGregor's Daughter said...

How fortunate you were to have a whole family who gardened to get you off to a good start. Of course you garden in a very different climate from that in which you grew up, so you had to do a lot of learning on your own.

Sue Swift said...

Love the picture! Just shows that if you can get kids interested early, it's there for life ...

donna said...

What a nice story about your gardening start and how important your family was in contributing to the gardener you are today. The photo is one of the cutest I've seen in a long time.

Blackswamp_Girl said...

I remember lots of plants around as I grew up... one set of grandparents had two HUGE square garden beds in the backyard where they grew everything from kohlrabi to raspberries. The other grandma just grew "grandma's pretties" in the landscaping beds around her house. My parents had some handsome shrubs (including a lilac that wafted into my bedroom window on warm spring nights) but little else in their yard until a few years ago.

If you have time for one of my long-winded stories, you might enjoy this post from a few years ago:
http://blackswampgirl.blogspot.com/2006/07/exploring-our-gardening-roots.html
It, um... definitely makes a case for teaching children about the origins of their food. *grin*

Annie in Austin said...

That is one adorable photo, Leslie! Although you look a little skeptical that your mower will work, the "Dungaree Doll" rolled up pant-legs are killer.

It's interesting to see these photos and read the stories - you really do seemed destined to be a gardener!

Annie at the Transplantable Rose